Pharr man gets 65 years in prison for child sexual abuse

A Pharr man has been sentenced to 65 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexual abuse of a child, according to a Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office news release.

A jury found Francisco Ezequiel Lopez, 34, guilty of one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child victim under the age of 14, a first degree felony, one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, also a first degree felony, and indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second degree felony.

According to a news release, the child was 10- to 11-years-old at the time of the attacks.

“We will continue to go after the perpetrators of these heinous crimes,” said Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez in the news release. “All children have the right to be protected from violence, exploitation, and abuse. If you suspect child abuse, please speak up for the child and report it.”

Lopez was sentenced to 35 years on the first count, 20 years on the second count, and 10 years on the third count, of which he will serve consecutively. He was sentenced by Judge Rose Guerra Reyna of the 206th state District Court.

According to the news release, the case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Denise Santa Ana and Nicole Rodriguez of the Special Crimes Division in the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office was the arresting agency. DA Investigator Linda Greenwood, Victims’ Advocate Idelfonsa Sifuentes, DHR Health Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Child Protective Services, and the Children’s Advocacy Center also assisted in the investigation and prosecution.

Child abuse can be reported by calling (800) 252-5400. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.